Ready for some more bad news, Dallas Cowboys? You have little choice.
The Cowboys' defense took yet another personnel hit when cornerback Orlando Scandrick was suspended four games for testing positive for what the NFL deemed to be a performance-enhancing drug. Scandrick indicated that it was something he took while on vacation in Mexico.
Here's Scandrick's statement:
I would like to apologize to my children, my family, the Jones Family, my coaches, my teammates and my fans. Failing a drug test is far out of my character, and although I never knowingly took a performance enhancing drug/banned stimulant while on vacation in Mexico, I take full responsibility for what goes in my body and more importantly for the embarrassment of a failed drug test.
It’s my goal by issuing this statement to clear my name and more importantly to be judged by what happens to me in the future. I hope that my family, my Cowboys football family and all my fans can forgive me for this situation. I look forward to a successful 2014 season.
Sources have confirmed to Shutdown Corner that Scandrick knowingly took a "recreational" substance — one that would fall outside the NFL's guidline for performance-enhancing boundaries — but that it was "cut" with some kind of stimulant, hence the positive drug test.
[ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!]
Recreational drug in Mexico? That's a new one. So was the fact that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones broke the news of Scandrick's four-game suspension to the media. But then again, this is the Cowboys.
Get ready for a fun season in Dallas. A unit that allowed 415.3 yards and 27 points per game last season is now worse. Far worse. DeMarcus Ware is gone, and Sean Lee is out for the season. So is promising defensive lineman Demarcus Lawrence.
Every unit has major questions, and naturally, the depth is really bad right now. Scandrick was the Cowboys' most dependable defensive back, able to play the all-important slot position. He's a good tackler who will miss games against the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and New Orleans Saints. If there's any silver lining, only the Saints of that bunch have what you'd venture to call a dangerous passing attack, although the smart money says that the 49ers should have a more advanced passing game than a year ago.
Here's betting that the Cowboys' streak of 8-8 seasons end at three. At this bad-news rate, they figure to win half that many games.
One final point on this. Scandrick's agent, Ron Slavin of BTI SportsAdvisors, also sent along a statement that brings up a darned good point: Scandrick, and others, would likely not have tested positive if the NFL and NFLPA would find common ground — it has been two years of bickering — on HGH testing.
Here's Slavin's statement in regard to his client:
I do not excuse Orlando having tested positive for a banned stimulant. The current rules are what they are, and a player is responsible for what is in his body. However, I would like it known that it is my understanding that if the current proposed agreement related to HGH testing would have already been instituted, a very significant percentage of the players receiving “PED” suspensions since the new CBA took effect would not have been suspended. Instead, these players, under the proposed new policy, would have been subjected to the Substance Abuse Policy and Program. More than 80 missed games, millions of dollars in fines and bonus repayments have been issued because the NFLPA and NFL cannot come to an agreement. The only people who are losing in this standoff are the players and fans.
Kind of hard to argue with that one.
- - - - - - -